Raytheon demonstrates next-generation BLOS communications system for US military

Raytheon Intelligence & Space recently announcement completing a five-week demonstration of its Troposcatter transportable communications system beyond line-of-sight for the U.S. military.

The “point-to-point” system is wireless and allows the sharing of voice data and command/control information in environments where satellite communication is refused.

Raytheon describes the next-generation system as “a critical communications capability that supports the Department of Defense’s all-domain joint command and control vision to connect the battlespace across all domains.”

Raytheon president of communications and airspace management systems Denis Donohue said, “The modernized Troposcatter system delivers more capacity with increased throughput performance and low latency at a significantly lower cost. Solid-state power amplifier technology reduces overall size and weight, while increasing performance.

Describing it as a “force multiplier,” Donohue touted the system’s ability to provide communications links over great distances, a significant technological leap over legacy military communications systems.

Function, features and development

The Troposcatter system provides wideband communications and delivers high performance with a single antenna. However, additional antennas can be installed “for diversity” and to establish more stable and secure links, thereby improving system performance.

The automated system can establish “link connectivity in less than 40 minutes” using “radio scattering effects in the lowest part of the atmosphere, allowing [beyond-line-of-sight communication]eliminating the need for multiple expensive line-of-sight relays and limited satellite resources. »

The Troposcatter is small and portable and can be set up quickly on demanding missions. The platform also offers “lower latency and cost” than satellite communications.

During development, Raytheon tested several versions of the system “in multiple operational environments at 7 different locations over varying distances, including some in mountainous terrain at ranges approaching 120 miles. [193 kilometers].”

The US Army will field an initial batch of 19 systems with the likelihood that more units will be deployed.